One of the more startling things I encounter in grad school is the broadly held belief in a renascence of belief. This is either presented as inevitable or desirable, and in all cases it is terrible fashionable to think that some sort of religious feeling is necessary for meaningful human life. Authorities are generally what is used to stabilize whatever flimsy argument is being put forth about modern man’s ache for fullness: Rousseau, Bellah, Taylor, Hegel, et cetera. Myself, I don’t ache for a Jesus-plenum. In fact, being around all this lax chatter has made me positively anti-religious — more so than I have been since I ditched my faith as a teenager. I find theological pronouncements obnoxious, and the way that many of the radical hipsters seek to meld political engagement with religious sentiment I find disgusting.
So, it was with great pleasure that I read Gallup’s recent press release on the trend toward decline in religious belief in America. Religion shows a long-term decline; the number of non-religious people is rising — 1 in 10 at this point, more or less; the world becomes disenchanted. Oh well. Get over the loss of belief and do something worthwhile.